"Bahr's blend of historical fact with gut-wrenching emotion has produced a
riveting novel of the Civil War, a frighteningly realistic portrait of men and women caught in
an awfulness beyond their control."Publishers Weekly
"Bahr makes an impressive debut with a haunting tale of a brief but bloody encounter on the
road to Nashville.A bleakly effective and economical account of men and women caught up
in a bestial conflict."Kirkus Reviews
"Bahrdramatizes these events through the use of descriptive imagery, which captures the sight,
smell, touch, sound, and taste of war, and the use of detailed character development that reveals
the emotional and mental perspectives of the young, battle-fatigued Confederate soldiers.An
At twenty-six, Bushrod Carter is already an old soldier, a veteran of all his regiment's campaigns since
Shiloh. Now, on an Indian summer afternoon in 1864, Bushrod finds himself in the line of battle once
again, on a plain below the obscure village of Franklin, Tennessee. The dark flower of his destiny is
opening in the twilight, just as it has on other fields, and Bushrod must pass once again under its
shadow if he is to see tomorrow.
In the madness and violence of a great battle and its aftermath, Bushrod Carter tries to act his part as
well as he can. He must confront his soul and learn from his comrades and from a young girl struggling
with her own harsh past.
This timeless portrait of a young man's suffering in war has already won praise for its originality and power.
The Black Flower is a story not only of war, but of men and women seeking redemption, who are
stripped of all that anchors them, and who at last turn to honor and courage and love.
Howard Bahr, a native of Oxford, Mississippi, teaches English at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee. He is the author of numerous essays, articles, and short stories, many of which deal with the American Civil War.
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